Northern Ireland overtakes Essex as UK tanning capital

Ulster has leapfrogged Essex and Scotland to become the UK region that spends the most on home-use self tan.

New research from premium retail skincare analyst NPD shows that self-tanning is most prevalent in Ulster where self-tan accounts for 3.1% of all skincare sales, more than double the national average of 1.4%.

The North West is another clear hot spot for the prestige self-tanning market. The region bucks the national trend as sales of self-tanner grew by 4.2% year-on-year in 2012 and now account for 1.9% of all skincare sales.

Meanwhile bronzing powders are the most popular in the North West where they generate 3.4% of all make-up sales, followed by Scotland at 3.1%, compared to a national average of 2.7%. 

The research showed clear seasonality with sales peaking in May and before Christmas. Bank Holiday weekends were also hot spots for self-tan sales. According to NPD, in 2012, 8.5% of annual sales were made in the two weeks leading up to the bank holiday on June 4.

Sales of prestige brands of bronzer have rocketed across the UK in recent years and rose 12% year on year in 2012 to reach a value of £13m.

Meanwhile, sales of prestige self-tanning products declined by 10% to £6.4m in 2012 as consumers increasingly favoured bronzing products. ?

June Jensen, director for The NPD Group Beauty UK said: “Image conscious consumers are keen to add a bit of colour to their skin but an increasing number are moving away from self-tanning products in favour of more subtle bronzers. While the self-tan market may be in decline, a rise of nearly 12% in sales of bronzing products during a recession shows that consumers continue to have significant appetite for a golden glow year round.”